Christian Forums

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • Focus on the Family

    Strengthening families through biblical principles.

    Focus on the Family addresses the use of biblical principles in parenting and marriage to strengthen the family.

  • We stand with Ukraine. Please consider supporting Ukraine through a qualified organization.
  • Guest, Join Papa Zoom today for some uplifting biblical encouragement! --> Daily Verses
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ

    Heard of "The Gospel"? Want to know more?

    There is salvation in no other, for there is not another name under heaven having been given among men, by which it behooves us to be saved."

Nine Blessings for Pastors in Ministry

Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family
RSS Feed
Dec 20, 2019
Pastoral ministry is difficult. Preparing to preach God’s Word faithfully week in and week out is hard work. Shepherding a congregation, in all their sin and suffering, often takes an emotional and mental toll. The sheep occasionally bite, and unfair criticism, unwarranted suspicion, and unrealistic expectations all leave their scars. Add to that a pastor’s sense of his own personal sin, limitations, weakness, and inadequacy for the task, and you can see why pastoral burnout is a real problem. Sometimes, I think, “There’s not enough money on Earth to make this job worth it if it weren’t for the sense that God has called me to it.”

That’s not even close to the whole story. There are also times when pastoral ministry is so wonderful that I think, “I cannot believe I get to do this for a living.” In the hope that it might encourage you, here are nine ways the Lord has blessed pastors in their ministry.

1. Studying God’s Word​

I serve people in the church who spend long days doing grueling work. They are carpenters, nurses, nannies, and teachers. There are days when I can sit in my study with a cup of coffee and prayerfully ponder the meaning of God’s Word. My ministry gives me the privilege to consider God’s love letter to his people!

2. Watching God work over a long period of time​

From my experience, I have concluded that it pleases God to give his best gifts slowly and over extended periods. When I think about the best things that have happened in our church, they have grown slowly and imperceptibly. When I first became a pastor, a wise older saint told me that young men tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in five years and vastly underestimate what they can achieve in twenty. Now that I’m coming up on twenty years of service to the same congregation, I can see what she meant. God works, but usually in ways that require patience and endurance.

3. Watching kids grow up in the faith​

If you stick around long enough, you will probably see children born, grow up in the church you serve, eventually embrace Christ through faith, and then go into the world as growing Christians. What an amazing thing it is that God has tasked us to tend a garden where He grows such incredible fruit!

4. Seeing people radically changed​

Every person whom God draws to himself is indeed a trophy of grace. None of us are any more or less deserving of God’s love in Christ than anyone else. But there is a special glory when God takes someone who seems like an unlikely convert (from our perspective) and drastically transforms their life. There are times when I will be amazed that I’m reading the Bible or praying or talking about the things of the Lord with this person.

5. Watching God answer prayer​

This one is self-explanatory, but I never lose my sense of wonder when God responds to a specific prayer with a particular answer. Sometimes that answer comes quickly, and sometimes after years (or even decades) of prayer, but it is always glorious.

6. Seeing a new generation of pastors emerge​

I used to be the young guy. Now that I’m the middle-aged guy, I find myself thinking more and more about the future and what I will leave behind when I’m gone. In that light, it is a great joy to see the Lord raise another generation of gifted young men whom He calls to preach his Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. Some of the young men we’ve sent out are now better preachers than I am, and nothing could make me happier!

7. Watching God do the unexpected​

If you asked me to list the things I am most excited about in the life and history of our church, they would almost all be things for which we did not initially plan or strategize. Plans and strategies may be helpful, but the Lord seems pleased to bring us opportunities for fruitful ministry that we could never have imagined or created. How good to be reminded that the Lord has worked for us and to trust that he will use us as he sees fit!

8. Watching the saints do the work of ministry​

When we evaluate our ministry, we think about the immediate results. In Ephesians 4:12, the apostle Paul tells us that our job is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” That means an essential measure of our work is not just the ministry we do personally but how well we equip the people in our church to do “the work of ministry,” which the apostle defines as “building up the body of Christ.” As a pastor, I want my preaching, teaching, and counseling to equip church members to teach, evangelize, disciple, and counsel one another. Few things make me happier than learning about people ministering to one another in the church without my direct knowledge or involvement!

9. God’s pleasure and reward​

In 2 Corinthians 5:9, Paul tells us (speaking of Jesus) that “we make it our aim to please Him.” It is wonderful to think that my ministry—weak and beset by sin as it is—might be pleasing to the Lord. What a marvelous thing it is to be considered “the Lord’s servant” (2 Timothy 2:24)! God has promised a gracious reward to pastors: And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:4) Whatever difficulties and troubles you experience in ministry, I can promise that they will all seem small and insignificant compared to that “unfading crown of glory!”

If you are a pastor, my guess is that you can identify with most of those joys. You can probably add more of your own. But as I review this list, it strikes me that most of these joys make less of me as a pastor and more of God. We might be able to manufacture short-term joys in our efforts – the joy of a well-attended meeting, the joy of immediate responses. But God tends to give His best gifts in His own ways and in His own time, for His own glory. It pleases Him to reward patience, faithfulness, and trust. Whatever the trials and troubles of your ministry, remember to look at the blessings the Lord has allowed you to experience and the ones he promised you in the future.


Pastors, Approach Your Calling with Joy

Lessons from 15 Years of Pastoral Ministry

6 Joys of Pastoring

The post Nine Blessings for Pastors in Ministry appeared first on Focus on the Family.

Continue reading...